Republican Delegation Led by McConnell Meets Zelenskyy in Kyiv

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Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) visited Kyiv and met Zelenskyy in an unannounced visit.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed the visit on various social media platforms.

“The visit of the U.S. Senate delegation led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is a strong signal of bipartisan support for Ukraine from the United States Congress and the American people. Thank you for your leadership in helping us fight not only for our country but also for democratic values and freedoms,” he said in a social media post. “We really appreciate it.”

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) joined the trip.

The Republicans’ visit came as the Senate is set to authorize another $40 billion in military aid for Ukraine which has passed in the House with a bipartisan 368–57 vote.

However, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) stalled the bill to be passed in the upper house on fast track.

Paul, a libertarian who often opposes U.S. intervention abroad, said he wanted language inserted into the bill, without a vote, that would have an inspector general scrutinize the new spending.

“No matter how sympathetic the cause, my oath of office is to the national security of the United States of America,” Paul said.

He was also concerned that the new spending will worsen the domestic inflation which has caused by “deficit spending.”

“We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy,” he said.

He went further to state that the United States should learn the lesson from the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“We should not forget that the Soviet Union collapsed in large part, not because it was defeated militarily, but because it ran out of money. In an attempt to save Ukraine, will we doom the United States to such a future?” he warned.

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) questions Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House Chief Medical Advisor and Director of the NIAID, at a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Jan. 11, 2022. (Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images)

Paul’s objection to passing the bill quickly will delay the bill to the next week or further though its final passage is not in doubt with bipartisan support.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and McConnell—both intended to pass the bill on Thursday—disagreed with Paul but suggested holding a vote on Paul’s concern as an amendment to the bill.

“It’s clear from the junior senator from Kentucky’s remarks, he doesn’t want to aid Ukraine,” said Schumer, “All he will accomplish with his actions here today is to delay that aid, not to stop it.”

McConnell suggested that it’s reasonable to provide weapons to Ukraine as far as the United States didn’t join the war directly.

“Ukraine is not asking us to fight this war. They’re only asking for the resources they need to defend themselves against this deranged invasion,” McConnell said of the Ukrainians. “And they need this help right now.”

The Associated Press contributed to the report.

From The Epoch Times



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